Saturday July 30 2016
Verratti: ‘Staying at PSG’

Marco Verratti admits interest from Real Madrid is “nice” but won’t leave Paris Saint-Germain without winning the Champions League.

The Italian international has spent the last four seasons at Parc Des Princes, though made just 17 Ligue 1 appearances last season due to injury problems.

“Will I be a PSG player next season?” Verratti pondered in an interview with Le Parisien.

“Yes. The club and I have discussed it many times. We both share the same goal of winning here. It’s been four years that I’ve been in Paris, I’ll start my fifth year.

“Until we’ve won the Champions League I want to stay here. That’s the goal I’ve set myself, I want to win with this team because it’s like a family.

“It’s nice when a big team like Real Madrid is interested in you, but I’ve decided to win with Paris. Before they get tired of me or the club don’t want me anymore, I want to win something important here.”

Verratti also gave an update on the hip injury which saw him miss out on Euro 2016 with Italy.

“I feel good. I had a very difficult season because I couldn’t help the team to win games. I was on the sidelines for six months, it was very complicated for me.

“The operation went very well, I’ve been working all summer with the PSG physio to return after the break with the whole squad.

“The worst is over now, I’m doing all the exercises normally with the team. After that it’s the Coach [Unai Emery] who’ll decide when I’m ready for matches, but I think that’ll be quick - I’m impatient.

“I had the problem for a long time, but it was getting worse and then I understood. I tried everything to be at the Euros, but once I saw it wasn’t possible I decided to have the surgery.

“When we played against Chelsea and Manchester City I did everything to be on the pitch, and it didn't work.

“Even then I realised that it’d be very difficult for the Euros. I want to thank Paris for trying everything for me and allowing me not to play League games when we were already assured of the title.

“It wasn’t to be though, and I decided to have the surgery to return as soon as possible.

“It was very hard, now the game is even more beautiful to me. My passion is even greater. In day-to-day life I had six months which were truly bad.

“I realised that football isn’t just the 90 minutes on the pitch, the matches, but it’s really my life. It’s an experience which has made me mature more and grow stronger.

“The groin had been giving me problems since I was at Pescara, I’d been playing with it for five years. It got to a point where I knew I could no longer do that.”